The FTC issued an administrative complaint alleging that the proposed merger of Advocate Health Care Network and NorthShore University HealthSystem will create the largest hospital system in the North Shore area of Chicago. According to the complaint, the combined entity would operate a majority of the hospitals in the area and control more than 50 percent of the general acute care inpatient hospital services. The Commission also authorized staff to file for a preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo pending the administrative trial.
In the federal court proceeding, the district court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction on June 20, 2016, but granted plaintiffs' motion for a stay pending appeal. On October 31, 2016, the Seventh Circuit reversed, and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings. On March 7, 2017, the district court granted an injunction, and the parties abandoned their merger plans. On March 20, 2017, the Commission dismissed the administrative complaint.